Mandy Wells is a teacher in the AU who teaches refugee children whose parents are unable to provide them with education or school supplies. In order to make sure that the kids don’t miss out, she spends her personal finances for them.
According to her, she stocks up on things that the kids can’t buy for them. While she doesn’t get kids school chairs, she does end up spending anywhere between $900 to $2000 annually, depending on what the class needs, and working with colleagues who spend even more money.
According to a national survey conducted by the Australian Education Union, published in the report dubbed “State of Our Schools”, Ms. Wells isn’t alone in spending personal finances for their classes. Their survey says that 93% of teachers in the AU spend their own money in order to acquire supplies for their school or their students and 25% of them, mostly primary teachers, spend over $1000 annually.
Additionally, the survey details that 78% buy stationery, 76% buy classroom equipment like kids school chairs, and 44% buy library resources and textbooks.
The 7804 teachers, principals and support staff that answered the survey were also spending their own money on supporting specific students, as well as sporting equipment and excursions.
Fundraising was also considered as key to the school budget by 86% of principals in the AU and 90% of the principals in NSW. According to the survey, approximately 32% used that money in order to fund maintenance, which is a 6% increase from the prior year.
According to AEU Deputy President and President of the NSW Teachers Federation, MaurieMulheron, the more disadvantaged the area is, the more teachers are reliant on using their own money to make purchases. He says these educators need funding in order to give the kids a chance to learn.
Ms. Well expresses frustration to the fact that the federal government recently gave non-government schools a $4.6 billion funding injection without giving extra funding for government schools.
Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan said that the government was providing record funding to the schools in the AU and would keep its promise in order to fund 20% of the School Resourcing Standard, with the states expected to fund about 75%.